Total Increases Stake in Novatek to 16%

MOSCOW - France's Total SA has increased its stake in OAO Novatek, Russia's No. 2 gas producer, to 16 percent, the Russian firm said in a statement Wednesday.

Total took a 12 percent stake in Novatek in 2011, saying it would increase its share up to 19.4 percent in three years. Novatek's main shareholders are its chief executive, Leonid Mikhelson, and oil trader Gennady Timchenko.

Total also holds a 20 percent stake in Novatek's Arctic liquefied natural gas project, Yamal LNG. Novatek on Friday signed a deal to sell a 20 percent share in that project to China National Petroleum Corp.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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